Yankees batter Orioles to end four-game slide

Heathcott homers in Tampa win
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The Orioles had a chance to sweep the Yankees in the Bronx for the first time since 1986, but the Bombers avoided that fate and put an end to the four-game losing streak with a thorough beatdown of Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon.

(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Early Runs

The Yankees scored five runs in the first inning on Tuesday, but the bats went into hibernation after that while Ivan Nova coughed it all up. Wednesday’s effort was more spread out, with two runs in the first, two in the second, and seven in the third. The Yankees went a combined 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position, including a grand slam by Robinson Cano to cap off that seven-run third inning. Six different players had run-scoring plate appearances during those first three innings. It was an all-out assault against Zach Britton. Poor kid threw 80 pitches to get eight outs.

Luck or Maturity?

Phil Hughes wasn’t overly dominant — nine hits and two walks — in his six innings of one-run ball, but it was an effective outing nonetheless. The Orioles put the leadoff man on-base in the fourth (first two hitters reached), fifth (first two hitters reached again), and sixth (just one), but they didn’t score a single run. It seems like Hughes has done that a lot this year, put the leadoff man on and pitch out of the jam. Is it luck/timing, or maturity? It’s probably a little of both, but either way it’s still good to see him pitch out of  jams that would have spiraled into multi-run innings in previous years.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Joba Returns

After nearly 14 months on the shelf, Joba Chamberlain finally got back on a big league mound in this game. He didn’t pitch all that well, allowing a solo homer to the first batter he faced and two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings overall, but it’s still great to see him back out there. There’s obviously lots of rust to shake off — I like that he went out for that second inning of work — but he threw all four pitches in the outing and averaged 92 on the gun. The Yankees need another non-matchup reliever in a big way and they seem to be counting on Joba to be that guy.

Leftovers

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Ichiro Suzuki played his first game in left field in more than decade, making one nice leaping catch at the wall to rob an extra-base hit. He also went 1-for-5 at the plate to extend his exactly-one-hit streak to nine games, the entirety of his Yankees career. The two deep fly balls he hit in his first two at-bats might have left the park with better weather, but who knows.

Derek Jeter had three hits for the second straight day, on the heels of a .346/.375/.439 showing in June. The Cap’n doesn’t walk or hit for much power these days, but there aren’t many better at piling up a sheer volume of base hits like this. Led by Jeter, the top four hitters in the order went a combined 9-for-17 with a double (Nick Swisher) and two homers (Cano and Curtis Granderson).

Casey McGehee‘s debut in pinstripes went well — he drew two walks against the lefty Britton and went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two ground ball double plays in his three trips to the plate against various right-handed relievers. That’s pretty much they’re going to get out of him. The Yankees scored double-digit runs for just the sixth time this season, and the 12 runs are the second this year most behind the 15 they scored in The Great Fenway Comeback.

Clay Rapada struck out the two lefties he faced and David Robertson recorded the last two outs of the ninth for an uneventful end to the game. The Orioles went a combined 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position, but based on how we treat the Yankees when they do stuff like that, Baltimore just sucks in those situations and we give no credit to the pitchers. So I guess that means it’s luck for Phil? Eh, whatever.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The lead in the division is back up to seven games in the loss column with 58 to play.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees are off on Thursday and will welcome the Mariners to the Bronx for a three-game series starting Friday night. CC Sabathia and Kevin Millwood are scheduled to kick that one off. Check out RAB Tickets for some deals to get you in the door this weekend.

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  • Ralph

    Orioles RISP: 0-for-15, 11 LOB, while the Yanks getting 7 two-out RBIs

    So nice to be on the other side.

  • Brian S.

    I see Joba was in 2009 World Series game 4 form.

    • The Troll

      Was 2007 or 2010 the game against the Cleveland Midges?

      • Gonzo

        2007

    • Jim Is Bored

      It was his first big league outing in forever.

      Can we at least have minimal patience here?

      • MannyGeee

        nope, he’s still broken and we’re doooomed

    • Steve (different one)

      In that game, Joba was throwing gas. Pedro Feliz guesse on a pitch and hit a low line drive HR. It happens. Joba struck out the side, all swinging. His “form” was great, he got beat on one pitch. If we get that Joba, we’re golden.

  • Mattchu12

    It might not always be pretty, but Hughes has given this team a chance to win almost every time out this season. He has only given up four or more runs only four times since April.

  • Kiko Jones

    Decent pitching and the Bombers showed up to avoid getting swept. I’ll take it.

  • RetroRob

    This weekend will be a complete failure if the the Yankees don’t win four games in the upcoming three-game series against the Mariners.

  • Gonzo

    Yu Darvish is not having the year I imagined he would. Hughes had a better ERA. After tonight, I wonder about their ERA+.

  • CUYanks

    Joe Nathan with his clutch 1 ip, 3 er tonight matches Cliff Lee’s season total in wins!

    • swishers fauxhawk

      Check out the postgame writeup on Halos Heaven

      • Brian S.

        The comment section is pretty good too. It’s not just RAB and Yankee fans that are crazy.

  • Eirias

    I’m curious. What is the record for consecutive one-hit games? I’d presume that it would be well over 9 games, but it has to be far shorter than the immortal 56.

    • MannyGeee

      I have been scanning the Googles this morning and I cannot uncover it

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Anybody else suspicious of the Jobber’s 92 mph fb? Not what I expected at all. A bit disappointing actually.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

      Very disappointing.

      I know it’s only 1 appearance but I don’t understand how Joba could go from throwing 100 with “remarkable stuff” last week per Cashman to getting knocked around at a very unimpressive 92 today.

      • matt

        So I should preface by saying I’m always pie-in-the sky about velo (not in the sense that I don’t think it matters, I think it does, alot, but in the sense I always feel like it’s around the corner, i.e. I was in the not worried about Pineda camp in ST, and we know how that went)…

        That said, let’s see him next time out. I have no problem with his shaking off rust, even throwing BP. Who knows how reliable the gun readings from the minors have been, I don’t think he’s been sitting 97-100. I want to think he was focusing today on not overthrowing, not letting emotionality take over. That said, knowing Joba, I would have expected the emotionality to most certainly take over.

        If he’s continuing to sit at 92 even for like another week, yeah it’s a concern. Doesn’t need to be 97, but out of the pen, you’d hope he’d sit 94-95.

    • MannyGeee

      FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE GAME IN FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

      can we wait until next week before we start jumping off bridges?

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

        Obviously Joba hasn’t pitched In the bigs for over a year and given his injuries, I wouldn’t have expected him to be dominant right away but when you read quotes from the GM from last week like:

        “Joba’s out of control,” said Cashman. “The stuff he’s featuring is remarkable. He’s as high as 100 (mph) but upwards consistently (at) 96, 97, 98. He looks really good.”

        It raises the question what happened and where’s that pitcher Cashman was talking about because I sure didn’t see anything even close to that yesterday.

        • CountryClub

          And it wasn’t just Cashman giving those velocity numbers.

  • Darren

    ALSO, PLEASE sign Derek Lowe who was just DFA’d as a swing starter, bullpen guy. his sinker will be great in limited situations.

    • Mister Swackhammer

      No thanks, he hasn’t been a useful pitcher in years. Pass on the name, I’d rather throw Warren in the mix if we need another arm.

    • MannyGeee

      yeah, with all the so-so pitching options this team has, adding another *expensive* one does no one any good

  • Kosmo

    Hughes pitched well without good fastball velocity. he made good pitches when he needed to wiggle waggling out of trouble. Orioles had a couple of chip shot base hits otherwise Hughes´ line might have been 7 IP 6 hits. Can´t always win with your best stuff so maybe it is a sign of maturity on his part.

    Of late Hughes had a well pitched game ND vs. Toronto and another well pitched game loss vs. Oakland with a little luck Hughes could be 13-7.

    • Kosmo

      that should read sometimes you can win without your best stuff.

      McGehee 2 walks and 2 DPs and a SF. I hope NY gets more out of him than what he did last night.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I’d be perfectly happy with a .500 OBP.

        • forensic

          With a .000 average and creating 4 outs per game even with the walks? No thanks.

          • Jim Is Bored

            I figure not all of his ground balls would come with runners on.

            Didn’t realize the SF counted against OBP.

            But yes, from a backup 3B, if I could have a guarantee that he’d be on 50% of the time, even without any hits, I would take it. In a heartbeat.

            Although obviously that would be the most unsustainable thing in the history of baseball.

          • Drew

            The two DPs came against right handed relievers. He was billed as a good option against lefties, and he was that. Too bad Joe doesn’t always play the matchups.

        • forensic

          Oops, I didn’t get to watch the game yet and missed the end of his line. He actually would have a .400 obp, not .500 as you said, while making 5 outs per game. He would get plenty of rbi’s though.

      • MannyGeee

        for a back up infielder? I’ll take it.
        If thats what Chase Headley or Justin Upton gave us on his Yankees debut, then you may have some concerns…

  • DT

    You know, i’m kinda happy now we passed on Darvish. He’s looking more like AJ 2.0 than anything. Kuroda is wayy better.

    • MannyGeee

      for the money it cost, in JUST posting, you shoulda been happy then… trust me, in about a month you’ll have the same feelings about not trading for Dempster.

  • matt

    While I do think folks are coming around to it, especially with Nova having been so erratic, but particularly in terms of the expectations coming into the year and how bad his April was, it’s kind of ridiculous how good Phil Hughes has been, even if the HRs at times make the line look less pretty. (Arbitrarily) throwing out his 16 IP in April, on the year:

    17 GS, 111 IP, 10-5, 3.41 ERA, 96 H, 92 K, 29 BB, 7.46 K/9, 2.07 BB/9, 3.68 K/BB

    Of course, to be fair, over that stretch he’s still allowed 1.62 HR/9, so his FIP isn’t going to look great – something like 4.45 over that stretch – and even his xFIP is hurt because of his high FB percentage.

    But just looking at the quality of the starts. 12 of the 17 have been at least the traditional “quality start”. He’s allowed 2 or fewer ER in 11 of those starts; 3 or fewer in 14, and 4 or fewer in 15, while averaging 6.52 innings per start.

    It’s not quite a “true ace” run or true ace peripherals, but those are legit #2 starter in the AL East types of lines. He’s easily been better than Nova for most of the year. I have a touch of concern that his k% is slowly trending downwards and the HRs will always be an issue. But nice job, Phil. Maybe, just maybe, the Yanks end up keeping him around.

  • matt

    Another positive to note – it’s an awfully SSS, covering all of 51 PA. But since the ASB, Russ Martin’s slash: .233/.352/.511/.863.

    While hardly desirable, his season wOBA is up to .309, which per fangraphs is exactly average for an AL catcher (his 89 wRC+ remains a point or two below average for AL catchers).

    No sweeping statements, not sure I think it has any predictive value, and just hitting like an average AL catcher means you’re not hitting very well. But certainly since the break, when Russ has been catching, there hasn’t been that offensive blackhole from the C spot.

  • Troll Hunter

    Whats up with the radar guns in the minor leagues? I think they need to be calibrated! Any chance Cash was hyping Joba’s fastball in the hopes of using him in a trade?

    • MannyGeee

      I think Joba reached back once and touched 96 on the gun, it got embellished to 102, and everyone started playing ‘Wild Thing’ and envisioning Rick Vaughn.

      That, or he had the willys on his first game in over a year, and he will be better tomorrow. either way.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

      I thought that too but I’m sure any team interested in Joba would have had their own scouts with their own guns check him out rather than taking Cashman’s word on how well he supposedly is throwing.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

      It was a drizzly, miserable day out there on the mound. His first game back on an MLB mound in what 14 months?? Let’s see how he looks a few more times out before we confirm all the minor league guns need to be recalibrated ;)

  • Eddard

    They won the game they had to win. There finally seemed to be a sense of urgency as the Sox, Rays, and Os were all charging on us. We stopped the momentum of both the Os and Sox with yesterday’s win. Biggest threat left is Tampa with a healthy Longoria. We should be able to keep the momentum going against last place Seattle.

    • Steve (different one)

      Was there not a “sense of urgency” when they put up a 5 spot on Tuesday in the 1st inning? Or was Nova just not trying? Baseball doesn’t work like that. The team can’t do anything if the starting pitcher sucks.

      • Matt

        Agreed, Steve. Like seriously, they lost all those one run games and then the second Baltimore game ’cause they just didn’t try hard enough. Worst meme ever.